First Nick

14 Dec

I think I was petrified. And then I took a deep breath and calmed myself down. I was about to just pick up the phone and call the husband, and demand we go to the doctor ASAP, but some sense came over me and I decided that let me just see how Tee takes it. She stopped crying in a min but I could see there was a small nick and there was a drop of blood. I swiftly cleaned in with a wet cotton ball and then put some baby cream on it. She was not too happy with me touching it, but then somehow put it for her.

So now that we have started with the hurt count, I do not know how it would be panning out.

How did she fall?

Tee has been trying to stand, in fact she has been standing with the support of her rocker pushed against the wall now. This time the rocker was adjacent to the chair, and she tried to move from the rocker to the chair, by carefully moving her one hand to the chair. Till then all was good. But, when she moved her other hand to the chair, she slipped and fell down scrapping her forehead against the chair and hence the nick. I was close by, but was just allowing her to do what she wants. I just wanted to be close by to see what she does and to catch her of she happens to trip. At least that was the plan. It did not work out, which is a completely different story altogether.

Was I doing something wrong? I thought the best way for her to learn was to do things herself and discover. She learnt how to stand with the help of her rocker all by herself. So, I thought this was really the best way to learn. But, maybe I need to re-think this strategy after yesterday.

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Sleep Training

3 Dec

Mom & ChildSleep is something which I have seen with experience gains a great deal of importance once you have a child. The initial few months go by in a blur with getting up at odd hours and being awake at the most insane hours to feed your wee one. Then things start to get better and the lil one starts to sleep better, but then one asks when is that you start sleep training, or lets say putting a routine into place. And I think that routine is very important as this is what the baby associates with time to sleep. This time setting is also a part of sleep training. I have been reading a fair bit about sleep training, and this is because I think somewhere I did something wrong. And the wrong thing that I did was to breastfeed my kid through the night, as I thought she would be able to get the requisite sleep only this way. If I did not feed, she would fidget, cry and end up with both if us not sleeping. This might have been the easy way out for me, but I did think that I would be able to change it in the coming times. This is where I was more wrong. Once a pattern is set, undoing the damage is worse and more time consuming.

So, Routine..

The first step top trying to get a baby to bed is setting this routine. Routine is nothing but a set pattern which you follow with your baby prior to sleep time. A pattern which helps the baby understand that it is time to sleep. They do not read clocks, so we are just helping them read their body signs. A routine can consist of a bath, oil rub, diaper change, change to sleep wear, lullabies or songs which the baby already associates with sleep will only help all the more.

Night 1

The chances are that your baby will get up many times through the night, as there is a change in the way things are being done. I, for one, was trying to get my daughter to start sleeping in the crib, and also ensure that she has a timed feeding pattern. For me, co – sleeping was just not working out as it was getting very tiresome for me by morning in spite of having a full night’s sleep. I felt the sleep was not a true sleep if I did not sleep in the position I wanted and more over relaxed.

Night 2

On the whole the night was not very different from Night 1, but I felt that she was more prepared to be put into the crib once she is asleep. And quite a few times she did go back to sleep on just patting her while in the crib itself.

The feeds on both nights were just one around 2-3 AM and then again at 6-7 AM. I think this is a very adjustable thing for me, as during the day also, her feed times are usually 5-6 hours apart. And I also believe that she does not drink to her full when she is being breast fed.

Night 3

There was a marked improvement which I could see. Night feed was at 10 PM and she slept off at 10: 45 PM, but woke up around midnight, and quickly went off to sleep on just being patted. After this, she woke up at 3 AM for her feed, and then on sleeping next she woke up at 7 : 30 AM, again for her feed. So, overall, the process seems to be working. And the morning naps have also started to be an hour long, and not small short naps anymore.

I think she knows that she is being put in the crib, and not does not mind it anymore. That is a good change which has been brought about. I will write again about a more concrete update in another month’s time.

Image Source: http://ycpics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Mother-and-baby-sleeping4.jpg

All tradition and all restrictions

25 Nov

Recently I spoke to some friends who have children, and something which I realized was that there are so many restrictions on a new mom by elders, and when we do not know what is right or not, you just follow them blindly. But, on speaking to people from different parts of India, the thing which I realized was that every place has its own list of restricted items, and this is based on the staple diet of that place.

Some of the restrictions and allowances which I found out are:

Kerala

1. No lentil varieties ( Lentil is bound to give a bout of colic to the baby)

2. Preference for rice over wheat ( Heavier and better for lactation)

3. Mother expected to have asafoetida in sufficient quantities (Relieves Colic)

4. No curd (Cold foods not allowed)

5. Very less oil, nothing fried ( Baby will upset stomach)

6. Garlic and important part of diet for mother ( Increases lactation and prevents colic)

7. Fish is to be had in plenty, for great calcium and iodine.

8. Meat is to restricted.

Delhi

1. No rice ( Rice is said to be a cold item, and hence will not suit the kid)

2. No spices ( Baby will upset stomach )

3. Less quantities of oil ( Baby will upset stomach )

4. Poppy seeds cooked in milk ( Will increase lactation)

Karnataka

1. No spices (Baby will upset stomach)

2. No curd ( Cold foods not allowed)

3. Lentils allowed

4. No wheat, only rice and rice preparations.

 

So what I realized was that, apart from a few specific restrictions, the diet as I see it is mostly what the mother should ideally be used to prior to delivery. So, now the question comes, when the mother has her own diet which is different from this, and then this specific diet is enforced, is that needed and does it work? I think its is best to avoid oil and spices, but apart from that the rest I am not sure if it has any real medical sense to it. It seems more like a midwife tale which is followed and like I said its more like sticking to the same diet what you were at prior to delivery even after.

Are you aware of any other such restrictions?

Image Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_606w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2011/03/15/LocalLiving/Images/we-eatdrink17-broccoli.jpg

Too quick to wean

2 Nov

As we proceed with the weaning process, now the spitting and splatter has certainly reduced to very marked levels. I previously was of the opinion that having an apron on oneself was the best option. But, now, my daughter has made me change that statement.

I have now started to also give her another meal which is not milk. I have introduced Ragi ( Finger Millet ) as the next option. I have found some powdered form of Ragi, which I mix with a 1:1 mixture of milk and luke warm water. Following this, I continuously stir it over a slow fire, and it immediately starts to thicken like porridge. I let this mixture cool and add some sugar to sweeten it. Once cooled I spoon this to Tee and she seems to like this a lot. This is a very smooth mixture, in fact much more smooth that cerelac, so I think she find this easier to swallow.

This month, I started her on Cerelac- Rice. I did try the wheat- apple mix last month, and she was not too fussy about it, and had it like she would her plain wheat cerelac. Apart from this, I also am trying to keep small very well mashed rice in her mouth for her to just get a flavor of real food. Fruits is something which I have not started to give her, and I think I should be doing that soon. I need to read up on what is the best starting fruits, light and also what is the best way to introduce it to her. I am aiming for something like apple stew, or banana very well done, and puree. I have heard there is also something available in the market which is a banana and milk mixture which can be mixed with a little milk/water and given as a feed. I have to go and find this product if possible.

Tee has completed six months now, and I have been wondering whether I am becoming too demanding on her intake of food. Do I make her have more solids than she wants to? I am not too sure. I did in between I think, and then that affected her system, and she was constipated too. So, now I have started to make sure that the Cerelac or the Ragi whichever I give her is not of a thick consistency, and I try to ensure that it is easy to pour into the bottle which I use. The poor girl had a bad bout of constipation, all because I just thought my girl was too grown up than she actually is.

Our first trip

21 Oct

The sheer happiness that I see when she is being strapped onto her car seat and the joy as she sees each car and building pass by is a sight to watch. We went on our first road trip with her, where she is all of 5 months and we drove for 5 -6 hours. She was a perfect travel companion, and saw the world outside, sat in her car seat most of the time, and then let me know with sudden fidgeting that she was hungry or uncomfortable in the car seat.

She was nevertheless, a very adjusting traveller and decided to feed in the car, sleep in her seat, or in my arms. She was not bothered by her co-travellers also too much. She was all in all very adjusting.

One of the main things which I did notice was that, frequent breaks were needed as there is really only so much of looking out of the window a small one can do. They also do not like to be handled by too many people when they are traveling, and as it is in a different environment than what they are used to.

As an after effect of all the traveling, I also noticed that she was slightly constipated, and giving some water was something I wanted to do. I thought they do get tired and thirsty and not being able to give water was an issue which I faced. I tried to feed her many times, so that she is hydrated and eases her stomach. With a bottle of water in hand, it becomes much simpler to soothe a baby. Another thing which I noticed was that a favorite toy was a must. She would spend hours just playing with her toy and in between casually look at the world passing by.

Once we reached our destination, she was also thrilled to be able to relax and stretch herself on a flat surface. I carried with me a piece of her bedding, so that she would be not in a complete alien surrounding. I would be sleeping right beside her, but still. She was quite tired with the sitting and traveling. She slept peacefully through the whole night, and was fresh as a pumpkin the next day to explore the place.

I hope this trip would be a good precursor for many more such wonderful breaks we can take to the places around Bangalore.

Patience is a virtue

1 Oct

Time flies in a day, and so does my patience along with it!

Everyone used to tell me how patient I am with anything that I am assigned to do, and how I do not get flustered when the results do not show as desired. I was very positive about how I would be able to be totally fine with a baby to take care and also of staying at home. But, then came the associated change in life in general. And that was something which I was not ready for. I am good at taking care of Tee, and I am able to understand her needs and ensure the least fuss, be it with eating or sleep or a bath. All that would be valid only till evening, and then that is when I feel that I would just like to rest, put my feet up and not just keep watching her. That is when I feel I need a break. At times I wonder whether I should feel bad about the fact that I am trying to take a break, but I am human after all!  I do know that I miss her when I am away from her for even an hour. Today morning I had to be out for an hour, and she was happy with her dad at home. She did not fuss, nor cry. She was playing and then slept off. But, when I came back and saw her fast asleep, I just felt that I was not there… and the moment she woke up I scooped her up and played with her. Its not guilt.. but I think its the attachment I feel towards her nowadays. I have become so accustomed to being with her the entire day.

I feel anyone stepping in for a few minutes even, so that I can just relax, have a conversation, step out for a while is all that I ask for. I do not really want to be away from her for an extended period of time. I think I am not ready for it, leave alone whether she is ready for it. I did not know that this is a possibility, as I thought I would want to be out and about, enjoy the shopping and all. But, now as I look at it, I enjoy these things when I take her along. I do not mind feeding her where ever possible, but leaving her behind is not something I enjoy doing. I want to show her the world around.

Spit and Splatter

21 Sep

Been a while and now my daughter is all of 4 months. She has started to recognize people and knows who is carrying her about, and would certainly prefer someone who she knows, as compared to unknown faces. I guess that is certainly a part of growing up.

Another development has been that I have started to feed her small quantities of semi-solid food, mainly Cerelac. I have started with the stage one, flavored with just plain wheat. And, how is she taking it? I think she was happy with being just breast-fed, but now with the change in food, it is a true battlefield trying to take her to eat that 2oz of cerelac which I make. This too I do not make very thick as I feel she might not be able to swallow it easily, though at times I think its better to make it thicker and hence reduce the amount to be ingested. It is certainly not easy to see your child cry with tears streaming down in refusal to have the food being given. But, what is the other alternative? I see only one option, which is to change the flavor, as it is possible that wheat is not her favorite!

My mother was suggesting that I try a little ragi soaked overnight in water and mashed to a puree form, instead of the wheat flavored Cerelac, as maybe it is just not palatable to her. I have not tried this as yet… but with the passing days I think she has understood that one meal is Cerelac and she is quite happy to gulp it down. I use this weaning bottle which is really good. Its squeezable, the flow of the semi solid substance inside is very slow, so it does not spill very easily. It is also possible to allow Tee to touch and explore the food by hand as the spoon is not full at all times, and also the bottle allows for less spillage when she accidentally jerks her arms around.

Now the next step will be introduce her to Rice also as a cereal option. I do not want to start on fruits unless she is a full 5 months, which will be in not more than 2 weeks!

Time sure does fly!

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